S-CASE Blog | Re-using Open Source Software

In today’s blog we take a look at how S-CASE helps you find Open Source software to re-use, saving you time and money while letting you get on with coding.

One of the main issues software developers need to face when performing their work is to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Open source results that do just what they need are often out there somewhere. Unfortunately, it is not at all easy to browse through the great number of open source artifacts available and to find exactly what they are looking for.

When we think about a big software company or a large research institute, which probably has offices in different cities if not countries, the issue is sometimes even inside the company/institute itself. So much software is produced and not all development groups know about what has been developed by other groups.

To support the re-use of open source software S-CASE project develops the Open Source Resource Finder (OSRF) building on top of some of the results of the MARKOS and AGORA projects. The Open Source Resource Finder supports developers in discovering features and outputs of internal and external (open source) projects. It will support software development and reduce the developing effort required and increase the re-use of existing software.

How does it work?

The OSRF interfaces appropriate OSS repositories and indexes the discovered resources in the S-CASE Asset Registry. In the Registry the physical active links to each software solution is stored together with metadata regarding each solution. The stored information can then be retrieved through the use of an API which exposes the registered services and solutions to semantic queries performed by the S-CASE users. The Asset Registry provides not only the physical location for all the registered assets, but can also be used for the invocation and direct utilization of each asset.

We will be keeping you up to date on our OSRF as the project progresses, but for now why not take a look at how S-CASE will utilise a model-driven approach.

S-CASE: Infrastructure foundation in the energy management world

Stand-alone energy monitoring systems can identify spikes in energy or general energy waste. But what’s the next step? What caused the spike? How do you reduce consumption?

This is where stand-alone energy monitoring applications always let you down. They can identify problems, but they have no knowledge of what caused the problem, under what circumstances and what this information really means. Moreover, most of Energy Management Software (EMS) solutions provide their functionality following the ASP or SaaS model while only a few offer APIs. Even when APIs are available, they are usually limited or application-specific, requiring a lot of effort to customize and integrate with other applications.

We have identified our biggest competitors and we are in the position to go one step beyond them by introducing the new Watchtower Cloud (WTC). Existing solutions in the energy management market are either based on old-fashioned architectural models (e.g. ASP model) or their offerings are limited to serve only dedicated needs. In order to increase efficiency and intelligence, software engineers have made progress towards the direction of seamless integration with 3rd party applications and platforms during the last years. However, what is still missing is the ability not only to customize such solutions, but to also create new ones according to user’s needs. This is where WTC comes to fill the gap by offering the ability to build custom analytics and combine standalone ready-made software modules in order to compose complex, algorithmic services.

WTC is not another traditional, customer-driven software for energy management. Its innovation is based on the following set of characteristics which also become our success factors:

Built on top of the SaaS model, it simplifies deployment, reduces customer acquisition costs and enables seamless integration with external systems. It exposes its core features, functionalities and ready-made analytics as standalone service modules which can be directly consumed by end-users or 3rd party applications. It offers the ability to compose custom analytics services.
It is hardware-agnostic, meaning that it can be adopted by different hardware providers.
Developed exploiting the S-CASE platform and following its modular logic, it becomes fully scalable. Its functionality can be expanded to support more features and fit even more business needs without the need of major re-engineering.

So, this is why WTC is a powerful platform addressing the needs of both end-users who need easy-to-use and customizable interfaces and developers who need portable and well-defined services to integrate with their applications. And this is how S-CASE will become the infrastructure foundation for making WTC a scalable and interoperable framework in the energy management domain.